Tag Archive | saving energy during winter

Practical Tips To Save On Your Electricity Bill

Electricity is a valuable resource to everyone in our community. Without it, we are simply left in the dark. That is why helping our customers use electricity safely and efficiently is so important.

Winter Tips

1. Regularly clean or replace the air filter in your furnace.

2. Turn down the thermostat at night and when the house is empty, or install a programmable thermostat.

3. During the day, let the sun heat your home by opening curtains and blinds. Be sure to close them again in the evening.

4. Maintain your furnace or heat pump regularly to keep things running smoothly and efficiently.

5. Weatherstrip and caulk your doors, windows and penetrations into the attic or crawl space that allow warm air to escape.

6. Increase insulation in the attic, walls and crawl space, if applicable.

7. To protect your pipes and keep it warmer under the floor, make sure your crawl space vents are closed.

8. Keep your fireplace damper closed when the fireplace is not in use.

9. Install window film or storm windows if you have single-pane windows.

10. Use a timer or motion sensor for outdoor lights so they are on only when needed.

Summer Tips

1. Use a ceiling, box or oscillating fan. The moving air cools you, creating less reliance on air conditioning.

2. Close the blinds before the sun gets a chance to heat up the house. Open windows at night to cool down the house.

3. During the heat of the day, keep windows and outside doors closed.

4. Replace the furnace filter and clean the outside coil on your air conditioner.

5. Don`t drastically turn down the temperature on your thermostat. Your house won`t cool down any faster.

6. To keep it operating smoothly, schedule a tune-up for your air conditioner or heat pump.

7. Weatherstrip and caulk your doors and windows if you can see light or feel air coming through them.

8. When replacing an old air conditioner, look for a more efficient one (SEER 14 or higher), preferably an ENERGY STAR qualified model.

9. Hang your laundry to dry. As a bonus, your clothes will smell better than ever.

10. Cook with a microwave or a barbeque instead of the stove or oven. It will heat up your food but not your kitchen.

Year-round Tips

1. Choose compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) when replacing light bulbs.

2. Always opt for ENERGY STAR qualified bulbs and fixtures.

3. Turn off lights that aren`t in use, even energy efficient lights.

4. Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 F (unless your dishwasher requires a higher temperature).

5. For an older hot water heater, consider a water heater blanket. Check your manual prior to installation.

6. Fix leaky faucets as soon as possible. A hot water leak is an energy drain.

7. Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes and use water- and energy saving settings – and cold water – whenever possible.

8. Replace the refrigerator door gasket if you can slip an envelope between the door and the frame.

9. Unplug your second refrigerator and put all your food in one.

10. Use power management settings on your computer. Turn off your computer and monitor at the end of your work session.

Why Energy Saving For Kids Is Important

Energy conservation is a responsibility that belongs to everyone on the planet. We should all know why conserving energy is important and have concern for the amount of resources we consume that provide energy.

Remember that the cost of energy doesn’t just affect your wallet. It affects the earth, too.

Instead of just thinking that saving energy is only an issue for adult’s to contend with, it’s time that people started training the next generation to take responsibility for energy and ecological conservation.

When it comes to energy-saving for kids, it’s all about ensuring their future.

5 Reasons Energy-Saving for Kids is Important:

1. Every bit helps. Children need to understand that there is no act too small when it comes to conserving energy. In fact, they need to know that it is the cumulative effect of doing many small things that will have the biggest impact on saving household energy. This encourages kids by helping them realize that what they do to help save energy around the house does matter.

2. Turning off lights saves energy. This is one of those little saving electricity tips kids and adults alike can easily do that will go a long way toward conserving home energy. By simply turning off the lights when not needed, children can help reduce the average home utility bills significantly.

3. Walking can be fun. Energy-saving for kids, requires them being motivated in the right way. By showing children activities that they can enjoy while conserving energy, they will be more willing to accept adjustments to their routines.

Walking is an activity that a lot of children today consider drudgery instead of something to take pleasure in. Teaching kids that walking is something they can enjoy will encourage them not to rely on being driven everywhere by a motor vehicle.

4. Fun can be other than hi-tech. A lot of children entertain themselves by spending their days glued to an electronic gadget. What they don’t know is that hi-tech gadgets waste a lot of energy.

Energy-saving for kids should involve teaching them how they can have fun without relying on gaming consoles and other electronic devices. Instead of playing baseball on a Nintendo Wii, why not get a ball and a bat and play the real game?

5. Alternative energy is exciting. When it comes to saving energy, kids will find the subject more appealing when explained in light of alternative energy sources and new technologies being developed to harness them. To a child, the fact sunlight is capable of being transformed into electricity is a fascinating concept.

The benefits of energy-saving for kids go far beyond their helping to lower the family energy bills and making a home energy efficient. Teaching children how and why conserving energy is important can also benefit their health, the environment and their future.

Wind Turbines Might Be The Way To Go for Renewable Energy

Large wind turbines are a good source of renewable and relatively clean energy. They have captured the attention of many environmental groups lately as a very realistic new alternative to currently used energy production techniques. Let’s see how they compare to current energy production methods.

The way we produce most of our electricity these days can hardly be called environmentally friendly. Coal fueled power generators belch thousands of pounds of pollutants into the air every year. The mining necessary to fuel one of these stations can devastate vast areas of land, transforming it into barren wasteland. Nuclear power plants produce cleaner energy, but have the potential of creating a much bigger disaster if nuclear meltdown should occur. Even hydroelectric systems cause damage to the surrounding eco system with their dams and sluice gates.

With the “green” movement in recent years, people have turned their attention to more modern approaches to energy production. These days we have set our sights on clean, renewable energy sources. Let’s look at how the different sustainable energy sources stack up.

Some countries in Europe have been developing exciting new ways to harness the energy of the tides. These tidal stations work quite well, but the technology is in its infancy. There are also concerns over the effects it may have on habitat. Although wave energy might be a viable option in the future, there is still the obvious disadvantage that this technology relies completely on proximity to a tidal body of water. Inland areas cannot take advantage of this type of energy collection.

Solar panels are probably one of the first things people think of when it comes to renewable energy. These big, heavy, expensive solar panels rely on delicate photovoltaic cells that capture a very minimal amount of energy. The ground area necessary for substantial energy generation can be immense. In order for solar panels to produce sufficient energy, the panels have to be spread out across a wide area, and this can disrupt many animal habitats and plant life. The cost to benefit ratio of this energy method is low, making it a poor option.

Something like a windmill doesn’t require as much space to produce energy. They can be put on the tops of skyscrapers, for instance. They don’t fail if the sun is behind a cloud, and they won’t break easily. They can quickly be adjusted to face the optimal direction for wind energy production, unlike photovoltaic arrays which are typically static.

Windmill technology is extremely old, and we have worked with it for generations in various ways. The basic physical premise behind the machine is well understood, and has not changed much in centuries. They are also able to be used anywhere there may be substantial air currents, and do not require a body of water.

If these things were used at a building specific level, a great deal of the power needs of a city could be met. With generating vanes atop each massive office building, the skyscrapers could at least be able to run their own elevators and lights.

As we move toward cleaner and more renewable energy sources to meet our ever increasing power needs, wind turbines are beginning to stand out as some of the better solutions. With a relatively cheaper price tag and a smaller environmental footprint than its closest alternatives, this may very well be the technology to get excited about if you are interested in the future of our energy supply.

Cory Sober is the IT Director for UpWind Solutions, a full-service operations and maintenance provider for utility-scale wind farms. He is part of a highly trained team focused on maximizing long-term productivity of wind turbines, and as a result, delivering a higher return on investment for wind energy projects.